This was the month I went skiing for a week in the French Alps for the first time and only hated it for two days (a great achievement and to the endless relief of my ski-loving husband). This was the month I chose a new word for the year. This was the month we would have welcomed our first child into the world, and I’ve thought a lot about what it means to hold on and move on. This was the month I joined a gym (again). And this was the month I reunited with my two best friends from uni, Ellidh and Hannah, for a fantastic weekend of catching up.
Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art. Elora recommended it to me and I am not that far in yet but it’s giving me so much to ponder and I am underlining every other sentence.
I picked up How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper while we were on holiday in the French Alps, and I loved it. I’m sure I’ll have more to say here soon about it’s reflections on grief and learning how to move on. But enough to say it’s a moving, irreverent, relatable look at life after loss.
I’ve also read Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by Joanne Harris, and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton this month. I try and review most of the books I read on Good Books, for my own memory as much as for anyone else, so you can follow me there if you like!
Anis Mojgani performs Shake the Dust. This video gives me goosebumps and makes me want to try spoken word. Thanks to my friend Romain for sending it my way. (If you’re reading in a reader or on email, click through to watch the video)
I went to see Life of Pi at the beginning of the month. I’d not read the book, but as I tend to enjoy films as an entirely separate experience from the books they originated from anyway, I didn’t see that as a problem.
This was such an interesting film. I went with girlfriends and missed having Rasmus next to me to grab whenever something scary happened (which was quite frequent – it’s a story about a boy in a lifeboat with a tiger for goodness sake). But it was thoughtful and powerful and the ending had me thinking for days after about the nature of truth, and how we tell or remember our life story.
At home, we finished the first series of the Danish show Borgen, Denmark’s darker answer to The West Wing. I may have cried a lot at the end. And I may also have decided I need Rasmus to scan the synopsis of any future Danish series we watch to make sure I’m actually going to be able to sleep at the end. Guys, I need a little bit of hope!
I’m reading online…
This article from the Guardian following the helicopter crash in London earlier this month. Giles Fraser writes,
“What I see in church is a place that is remarkably accommodating to confusion and doubt. A place where people bring their not knowing what to do. They sit and light a candle or say a prayer, not fully understanding what this really means or expecting some instrumental purpose. “I don’t believe in organised religion,” people often say. That makes me laugh. All religion is intrinsically disorganised. Forever perched over chaos.”
Sarah Bessey’s fantastic post on the damage that is done by the “purity movement” in churches: I am damaged goods. She’s brave and empowering to stand up against a huge cultural wave and say, no, “your worth isn’t determined by your virginity. What a lie.”
She Loves Magazine has had BRAVE as its theme for the month, which has been such great reading for me at the end of a whole year of learning to be brave. If you were to only read one of those thirty fantastic posts though, I’d point you to this one: He Runs Through the Night For Her, and dare you to read without getting just a little choked up.
I’m listening to…
Of Monsters and Men is my newest love. I don’t even remember how I discovered them but I’ve had them on multiple time these last few weeks. I’m probably way behind all the other cool kids, but if you haven’t listened yet, give them a try.
Healthy. And seasonally. Or trying to. The supermarket I shop at has a helpful sign up in the veggie section telling you what’s in season each month. So I filled my basket up with chicons and leeks and salsify. I’m still on the search for seville oranges (only in season this month!) so I can try making my mum’s delicious-sounding orange curd.
I’m so excited about…
The news of the new premature baby unit at Kitovu Hospital in Uganda. We are proud supports of River of Life in Uganda, and this news just made me oh so excited and grateful for the many tiny lives that are going to be saved because of this new unit. If you’d like to donate, you can do here.
The growing plans for a year of serving in Luxembourg. We launched Serve the City in December, and have spent January making connections and dreaming big. Our next day of serving is on 23rd February – you can like the facebook page to keep up to date with all the news.
I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer this month, for her “What I’m Into” post.